Month: July 2012

Ramble Geek: Emmy 2012 Snubs

So the 2012 Emmy nominations have been released, you can see a full list of nominations here. The list may seem a bit stale with the same actors/shows being nominated over and over (and OVER) again. If you were the type of person who believed the Emmy committee nominated only the best quality shows (quality should always prevail over popularity right?) you may just think that we are going through a bit of a TV rut. *Sigh* oh how committee’s can be so wrong.

Now I am a HUGE Modern Family fan (who doesn’t love some Manny Delgato in their life) however I am pretty abashed just how much they’ve dominated the awards the past 2 years. I’m sorry but it is just a slap in the face for ANY TV show to have their entire cast nominated, especially where there are SO many deserving shows. I’m astounded that Julie Bowen has been nominated for the second time, when has she ever been funny on the show!?!? In my opinion Claire, although necessary to calm the craziness that is the extended family, has always been a stale point on the show. You don’t really look forward to Claire centered episodes but you can see what she adds to the story. Community, Parks and Recreation, The Walking Dead although not part of my must watch TV repertoire, these are shows producing great content and are truly undeserving of their lack of recognition.

Then of course there are the long time Emmy snubs. Gilmore Girls, Battle Star Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer the list goes on and on of quality shows with great writing who have never received the recognition (from the academy) that they deserve. Take a show such as House. Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard are both equally deserving of the golden hardware over the years and yet somehow came out empty handed. While many will admit that the show dwindled over the years it is still an incredible snub for the show to walk out with zero nominations after their final year. I mean how has Hugh Laurie been nominated 5 times (in a row) and 6 times total and yet he has never won the category?!?

Of course the biggest snub in my eyes has got to Fringe. I will gladly call myself part of their devoted fan base. The show has been producing quality and interesting content for 4 seasons and has yet to receive any nominations. It is disgusting that John Cryer is nominated year after year (yes he is nominated in a different category but really….has he ever been funny?) when the brilliance that is John Noble goes un-noticed.This is just another instance where awards shows are demonstrating just how irrelevant they are becoming. We’ve been hearing for quite some time now that the ratings for these awards shows are declining. Maybe instead of hiring someone ‘funnier,’ ‘edgier’ or ‘more relevant’ to be the host we should focus on recognizing the show that are putting out fantastic content and the actors and actresses who are really showing their skills. Yes this post may seem like more of a rant than a ramble but I was thoroughly surprised when I saw the nomination list.

The Emmy’s will be held Sunday September 23rd on ABC with Jimmy Kimmel serving as host.

This week in TV: Political Animals Pilot Episode

If you’re still on the lookout for some great summer TV, you may just be in luck. Political Animals is a 6 part mini- series that just aired its pilot episode on Sunday over on USA, and here on Bravo in Canada. Now just as the title of the series obviously states, this is a political drama. In all honestly I’m trying to think of other political dramas that I have been a fan of but am coming up blank, this isn’t typically a genre a gravitate towards. Mostly, I guess, due to my lack of interest in American politics (which should be understandable considering I’m not an American 😉 ).

Political Animals has a stellar cast, I kind of watched this on a whim and was immediately stunned by all the heavy hitters on the screen. Sigourney Weaver, Ciarán Hinds, Adrian Pasdar, Carla Gugino heck even Dylan Baker made a cameo!  Now mind you there has only been 1 aired episode but nonetheless I don’t want to give too much of the plot away.

In the pilot episode we meet Elaine Barrisch (Sigourney Weaver), a once presidential candidate who is trying to make a name for herself in politics away from her promiscuous husband Bud Hammond (Ciarán Hinds). Bud just so happens to be a former president himself (Hilary and Bill Clinton anyone?). After losing the election Elaine accepts the position of Secretary of State which is where we meet her now. We also meet their two sons Doug (James Wolk), a seemingly political golden boy and Elaine’s chief of staff. He has an impending wedding and it is referenced multiple times in the episode that Elaine must be too busy planning the event  than to uphold her political duties (a false assumption mind you). Then there is Doug’s twin brother TJ (Sebastian Stan) an outwardly gay man who can’t seem to keep up with the pressures of being a member of the Hammond family. Rounding out the main cast is Susan Berg (Carla Gugino), a news reporter who has spent much of her career trying to undermine Elaine’s political attempts and whose biggest news story to date has been her coverage on Bud’s numerous affairs.

Although I feel that the writing could have been sharper, the pilot delivered some great zingers such as:

Never call a bitch a bitch, us bitches hate that.

He’s not your floor manager at Chili’s; he’s the President of the United States!

 I feel that this miniseries has some great potential, I like that all of the characters are likable but seem to have that hidden bag of bones buried in their closet.  I’m hoping this gets turned into a full fledged series but for now I’ll have to settle for 5 more episodes. However with a cast of such established actors I know that this project must NOT have come cheap.

For those of you unable to find the pilot episode in your local listings, the official Political Animals youtube page has uploaded the pilot episode (in its entirely) here. I’ve noticed quite a few shows using this practice and all I can say is 2 thumbs up! It’s a great way to give people a taste for your show while gaining some extra publicity. Below is a promo (shot mock-interview style!) where you meet many of the main cast. Overall I would say to give this series a shot, while not the most original concept I’m very intrigued how far the writers will be able to develop the story in such a limited amount of time.

Figs, Ricotta and Marmalade

Noms: Figs, Ricotta and Marmalade

It’s so easy to make fresh figs taste good! This simple appetizer is a great summer treat that takes minutes to make but looks beautiful when plated. I baked my figs until they slightly browned then added a dollop of ricotta cheese, citrus marmalade and an alternating sprig of mint or thai basil. I added a squirt of fresh lime to enhance the citrus flavour and add a punch. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time) I want to add some crushed chilli flakes for a bit of a kick. Nonetheless this simple appetizer is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Monday Questionnaire

Always fun to switch things up once in a while! This weekly poll is one of my favorite staples over at If anyone else wants to do this poll I’d love to read some of your answers 🙂

Mood: pretty mellow but I’ve got quite a bit on my to-do list

2. Your favorite frozen treat? A tricky one but I love my ice cream in the summertime. In terms of a particular flavour, I’m definitely craving some Polar Paws

3. What energizes you?Too many to name! A workout, listening to dance tracks in the car and getting into the juicy bits in a good book are just a few

4. Last time you went to the beach?Made a weekend trip about 2ish weeks ago. Nothing better than the sea breeze and sandy toes to instantly put the mind in relaxation mode

5. What makeup or beauty products do you use to fight shine?I’ve got dry skin so shine has never really been an issue for me but you can never go wrong with some blot sheets!

6. What would you do if you had one extra hour of free time today? Go for a walk near the park or around the lake. Mind you this would only happen once the sun starts to set (hello humidity and dry heat!) but its the simple things that mean the most.

7. Have you ever bought anything after watching an infomercial?Personally no, but my parents have bought quite a few (graty, handy stitch, space bags). As a kid I used to be OBSESSED with the magic bullet commercial, seriously I used to watch that thing like it was a tv show!

8. Can you count how many times you’ve watched Dirty Dancing?Not a ridiculous amount of times probably 2 or 3. Now ask me about Clueless, The Wedding Singer or A Night at the Roxbury and its definitely a different story!

9. Heroes or villains?I love a good underdog story but there’s nothing better than a complex well written villain to move the plot along.

10. Weekly goals: Quite a bit, mostly house keeping things (getting notes together, writing some reports) but I have an aunt coming in town for a couple days so I’ll probably go on a bit of a cleaning spree in anticipation of her arrival

Ice cream by the river at The Boathouse

Noms: Icecream by the river at the Boathouse

As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent a couple days with some friends at a nearby university city. While there, I managed to sneak in a trip to The Boathouse for some delicious ice cream. Excuse the slightly melty pic!

The Boathouse is located right beside Speed River in Guelph, Ontario. You can spend the day kayaking on the river or munch on your ice cream while strolling down the beautifully covered bridges.

The Boathouse offers some small entrees at a reasonable price and is connected to a quaint tea room however the real star is the ice cream. With 16 flavour options that vary by the day, you can always stop by for a new combination. The flavours I chose were polar paws (top scoop) and cherry cheesecake (bottom scoop) both equally delicious!

Polar Paws is a white chocolate ice cream with pieces of dark chocolate, white chocolate truffle and a raspberry jam swirled in. Whereas cherry cheesecake is just that a tart yet creamy flavour all overtop a fragrant waffle cone. And to think that this double scoop was a mere $3.50! Will definitely be making a visit back the next time I’m in Guelph!

Nail of the Day

Nail of the Day

Essence- Nude It
Deborah Lippmann – Boom Boom Pow

I’ve been lusting after Deborah Lippmann’s Boom Boom Pow since the beginning of the year and about a month ago I finally bit the bullet and bought it! Deborah Lippmann is pretty hard to find in my area, let alone finding the full range. This along with the price tag of this polish left me eying longingly at a distance (the distance being my eyes to the computer screen). Eventually picked this up off of ebay and it was love at first sight! Don’t know why it took me so long to actually use the polish, but it is perfect in so many ways!

Boom Boom Pow is a gold multi-glitter polish with a gold shimmer base. I had been on the hunt for a polish just like this for quite a while, but was never able to find one that was just right….well until I found this polish that is. The glitter doesn’t apply as easily as the milani glitters however it looks absolutely beautiful on the nail, especially when it hits the light. I used Essence nude it as a base and it worked perfectly. This polish applies like a dream, completely opaque in 1 coat. Love this combination and can’t wait to add some golden glitter to my future manicures!

I do apologize for the over-saturation of this picture (curse you phone apps!) however it does show the truest dimension of the polish; I got a lot of color cast from the natural sunlight.

Read: I Lick my Cheese by Oonagh O’Hagan

Another LitGeek! I both started and finished this novel today, it was so entertaining that I just HAD to do a post on it! In my opinion this isn’t really a book. I Lick my Cheese is page after page of notes left to….let’s just call them interesting roommates. I drove down to a nearby university city last night to visit some friends and found this little gem sitting on a side table (+1 for reading a physical copy of a book vs. my usual kindle version!) Needless to say for the next 3ish hours I was hooked!

The ‘chapters’ of this book are organized into the rooms where the notes were left (e.g. kitchen, bathroom) and range from the disgusting to the outright disturbing! Many of the notes are written post-it style however not everyone can be such a professional passive aggressive; there was one note scrawled on the back of a prescription!

It is hard to believe that all of these are real events! Some of the situations literally made my jaw drop. No matter my roommate situation, it has never been as bad as some of these! I will say that since the pages are filled with photocopies of the actual notes some of the handwriting is pretty difficult to read; and apparently grammar wasn’t a priority. O’Hagan has little blurbs at the end of each note which either gives more background on the situation or just an interesting anecdote. I’ll admit that most times I was too focused on the notes to read the blurb of text; but some of the truly shocking notes needed the extra detail! This isn’t really a book of substance, but it is very entertaining and would be a great summer read for an afternoon outdoors. Here are some quick snapshots of some of the more memorable notes:

and for one final gem (this one deserves the caption)

Read: Divergent/Insurgent by Veronica Roth

So this review marks the last of the books I read during my crazy 2 weeks of reading. Seriously I think I read 6 novels in 2 weeks! A friend of mine recommended Divergent to me, she kept singing its praises but I was most intrigued when she mentioned that she finished the novel in less than 10 hours! First a brief synopsis:

Divergent takes place in a dystopian society where citizens have been divided into 5 different factions depending on their ‘purpose’ to the society. The factions are: 

Abnegation: a faction that values selflessness; the people of abnegation hold many government positions because, by nature, they always look at what’s best for society rather than their own personal gain.

Erudite: a faction that values knowledge; this faction is responsible for technology and research. Erudite members are the doctors and researchers of the society, they tend to be a bit arrogant and believe they could do a better job at governing the society over abnegation.

Candor: a faction that values honesty, they say what’s on their mind no matter how hurtful those thoughts might be. They believe there is nothing worse than dishonesty and would rather be offended than be lied to. Candor members are sound leaders of the law because of their black and white view of the world.

Amity: a faction that values kindness. Opposite to Candor, Amity members would rather keep peace (in doing so perhaps acting dishonestly) rather than win an argument. They value happiness and freedom from human conflict. These members grow the crops for the rest of the society and heavily rely on Erudite for the technology to maintain them.

Dauntless: a faction that values bravery. These are the soldiers who protect the society. A dauntless member would rather die than act cowardly and are typically seen as members who make rash decisions.

So you might be wondering, what exactly is divergent? The novel explains divergent as an individual who does not fall into one of the set factions, as such they are often feared and seen as dangerous. Basically if you are one, you keep it on the down low.

So a quick summary: Divergent starts off with Beatrice Prior, a member of Abnegation who has never felt good enough or selfless enough to be a member of her faction. Until the age of 16 all the children of ALL factions go to school together to learn about the history of the factions and how they help society. Once children reach the age of 16, they go through a choosing ceremony where a virtual test tells them which faction they have the highest aptitude for; but in the end it is their decision to enter a new faction. Changing factions is typically frowned upon by your old faction since you will have to leave your parents and your ‘old self’ behind.

If you decide to enter a new faction, there is typically an initiation that you must do before being accepted by the members. This can range from hours of community service (abnegation initiation), jumping on/off of a moving train (dauntless), a rigorous lie detector or honestly test (candor), a large research report (erudite). Divergent is about Beatrice Prior’s decision to either stay with her old faction or change into a new one and the initiation process that follows. Tris begins to doubt the ideals of their society and with a potential war brewing many secrets of the society are revealed.

In case you are wondering, you can fail the initiation. If that happens members becomes fractionless which is seen as the homeless or poor people of society. They live through food donations through abnegation and cannot find jobs. Therefore you need to think long and hard if you decide to leave your birth faction because there really is no turning back.

SPOILER ALERT!!! If you are planning on reading the series, do not read any further as there will be spoilers (from divergent) mentioned.

Insurgent: So we now know that Tris is in Dauntless and her relationship with Four grows stronger by the day. Insurgent focuses on the war between Erudite and the Dauntless traitors vs. the other Dauntless members. The other factions (amity, candor) don’t want to get involved for the safety of their own members so the group has difficulty finding sanctuary. In this novel sides of the battle must be chosen, secrets are revealed and Tris must fully come to terms and accept her divergence to save the broken society.

Hopefully I didn’t give too much away in either description? I enjoyed both these books, I love the whole science fiction/dystopian society theme so I thought this was a really creative idea. I will say that I’m probably a bit older than the target audience for these books. As I was reading them just through the diction and structure I could tell it was meant for a younger audience which was a bit of a negative, but I still enjoyed them nonetheless. I wouldn’t say this was a series that I ‘couldn’t put down,’ I definitely didn’t read them in one sitting but they weren’t torturous to read by any means. I will admit I put off writing this review for quite a few days and I’m not really sure why considering I enjoyed both books in the series so far. I believe the 3rd installment in the series is due to come out in 2013, and I’m excited the see how the trilogy will play out.

Blueberries, Bananas and Ricotta

Noms: Blueberries, Bananas and Ricotta

Nothing like a quick breakfast smoothie to start your day! I had a bunch of blueberries to use up so that’s why the color is so vibrant! Today’s smoothie was made with bluberries, banana, almond milk, a couple almonds topped with a dollop of ricotta cheese and a mint leaf. Yum!

Mushrooms and Cauliflower

Noms: Mushrooms and Cauliflower

sauteed garlic and mushrooms with a cauliflower, roasted garlic, roasted bell pepper mash

Felt like being a bit more creative in the kitchen today 🙂 I’ve never been one to make many vegetable mashes but I think that will soon change! I love the difference in texture between the creamy mash and the firm mushrooms. Cauliflower is also a great alternative to mashed potato, they’ve got lots of nutrients and are much lower in starch. I blanched my cauliflower, so it became a bit tender, then blended it along with some other spices for flavor. Delicious!